Premier League Review
Friday 12th April, 2019
Leicester 0 Newcastle 1
Leicester were looking to strengthen their position in the race for "best of the rest" - seventh place, whilst Newcastle still sought points to ensure they would avoid the drop.
Rondon went close with a free kick from at least 30 yards after Perez was fouled by Wes Morgan. Chilwell went close after 19 minutes for Leicester, but Almiron forced a save from Schmeichel three minutes later. Barnes went on a solo run down the left channel, but the Newcastle keeper saved his shot.
Newcastle took a 32nd minute lead when Ritchie crossed from the left and Perez hit a glanced header which beat Schmeichel across his goal. Almiron then beat Morgan for pace and struck a low left foot shot which Schmeichel held just inside his right post.
Newcastle started the second half on top, but then had to defend in numbers as Leicester pressed them. However, it was Perez who came closest to scoring after 75 minutes, showing skill inside the area until Schmeichel managed to smother the ball. Tielemans put Vardy through after 78 minutes, but the striker hit his shot over the top.
Leicester continued to pile on the pressure, but Dubravka was never seriously threatened and Newcastle went 10 points clear of Cardiff.
Saturday 13th April, 2019
Spurs 4 Huddersfield 0
Follow the link for the full report. On the same weekend two years ago, Spurs also won 4-0 (against Bournemouth). even Mousa Dembele scored that day!
Hat-trick hero Lucas Moura was your man of the match against Huddersfield and you can see the spursometer in full here.
Brighton 0 Bournemouth 5
This shocking defeat for Chris Hughton's side left them in the relegation mire. The situation was exacerbated by Tuesday night's home defeat against Cardiff.
The first goal came after 33 minutes when Bournemouth were allowed freedom to pass the ball around the inside of the Brighton area, and Ryan Gosling provided the final touch into the net. Fraser made it 2-0 after 55 minutes with a lovely right footed shot from 20 yards in front of the joyous Bournemouth fans who have suffered 12 away defeats this season.
Anthony Knockaert was shown a straight red for his lunge on Adam Smith on the edge of the Bournemouth area after a Brighton attack had failed. Midfielder David Brooks made it 3-0 after 74 minutes after a give and go pass into the box.
Many home fans had left by the time Wilson (82 minutes) scored the fourth goal, and Stanislas (90 minutes) made it 5-0. Bournemouth's Premier League status is assured.
Burnley 2 Cardiff 0
Burnley are another club who have been battling relegation this season, but who virtually ensured their survival with a win over bottom three side Cardiff.
Chris Wood, who scored both Burnley's goals hit the post with a header after two minutes following a free kick won and taken by McNeil on the left. The first goal was a header which came following a corner from the right after 31 minutes.
There was controversy early in the second half when it looked as if Cardiff had been awarded a penalty when Mee headed the ball against his arm when Bennett had crossed. The referee's assistant had waved his flag and considered a penalty offence had been committed, but he was overruled by Mike Dean. Neil Warnock, who this week has been charged by the FA regarding previous behaviour, was understandably upset. Cardiff, and Warnock were upset again when Gunnarsson was denied a penalty when he tangled with Charlie Taylor.
Cardiff's upset was complete in added time when McNeil crossed, and the ball came off Etheridge for an easy close-range finish by Wood.
Fulham 2 Everton 0
The form book counted for nothing here as relegated Fulham beat an Everton side who had won their previous three games (Chelsea, West Ham, Arsenal) and had not conceded a goal in doing so.
Pickford had already had to push a Mitrovic header from a corner over the bar, and the Serbian striker hit the bar just before half time with a shot from just inside the area.
Fulham were halfway towards achieving only their third clean sheet of the season. Within a minute of the restart, and after good work by Mitrovic and Babel, Tom Cairney gave the home side the lead with a left footed shot inside Pickford's right post.
Calvert-Lewin hit a shot across the Fulham goalmouth, brushing the wrong side of the post. Babel made it 2-0 in the 69th minute, picking up the ball down the left side before racing goalward and scoring with a low shot.
Three of the four teams involved in the race for seventh place had lost their games. Watford would make that four against Arsenal on Monday night.
Southampton 3 Wolves 1
Brighton were not the only deflated losing FA Cup semi-finalists this week, as Wolves succumbed to a Southampton side drawing ever closer to safety. They were behind within two minutes as Redmond converted Josh Sims' cross delivered from the right. Wolves equalised after 28 minutes when Boly headed in from a corner.
Redmond gave the hosts the lead again within two minutes. Sims was involved again, passing to Danny Ings, whose through ball was delicately lifted over the Wolves keeper by Redmond.
Wolves had won 9 corners, but Southampton scored from their first and it was substitute Shane Long who provided the finishing touch, scoring in successive games for the first time in three years.
Manchester United 2 West Ham 1
United had to rely upon two Paul Pogba penalties to maintain their top four challenge and to beat West Ham. Anderson had an early "goal" properly disallowed for offside having been put through by Hernandez.
Referee Graham Scott awarded the first United penalty when Mata was blocked by Snodgrass on the very edge of the area. Pogba planted the spot kick into the net in the 19th minute.
West Ham equalised four minutes into the second half with a legitimate goal by Anderson after Lanzini had crossed from the left. It was Anderson's first goal in 14 games. Substitute Rashford had a low shot well saved by Fabianski. Antonio hit the bar at the other end with a rasping shot. Antonio then had a header superbly saved by De Gea.
Against the run of play, United won a second penalty, when Martial was fouled by Fredericks. Pogba again made no mistake from the spot.
A group of West Ham fans were recorded in Manchester singing offensive anti-Spurs and anti-Semitic songs. We all know there is nothing unusual about that, don't we?
Sunday 14th April, 2019
Crystal Palace 1 Manchester City 3
City have a title to defend and did not have the luxury of Spurs to make wholesale changes before Wednesday's Champions League decider. There were changes though with Kompany, Mendy, De Bruyne and Sane starting and Fernandinho absent.
Palace had shocked City at The Etihad at Christmas time and Guardiola did not want to be embarrassed today. The away side dominated possession and Raheem Sterling had already missed one golden opportunity when given the chance by David Silva, before he did take advantage of an excellent De Bruyne pass down the right channel after 15 minutes.
Sterling scored a second on 63 minutes, following a typical City passing move, a final ball by Sane and a simple side-footed finish. Aguero was replaced by Gabriel Jesus and Palace got a goal back with 9 minutes of the game remaining. It came from a free kick taken by penalty king Milivojevic, who scored to the right of Ederson.
De Bruyne played in Jesus in the 90th minute to restore the two goal lead and to put City on top, at least until the Liverpool result. City are aiming to win all their remaining games, and that includes their next two games against Spurs this Wednesday and Saturday. Let's hope we thwart them on both occasions!
Liverpool 2 Chelsea 0
The game was preceded by a minute's applause for the late Tommy Smith, and a solemn silence commemorating the 30th anniversary of Hillsborough. No quarter was being given in a hard fought first half in which Hazard took one or two tough challenges. Chelsea centre-back Rudiger had to be replaced by Christensen just before the break. Hazard was playing a "false nine" role with Willian and Hudson-Odoi either side of him.
Two goals early in the second half swung the pendulum Liverpool's way. First of all Henderson took a return pass from Salah and lifted a cross from the right which Sane headed home. Then Salah scored a sensational goal, cutting in from the right and hitting a rocket shot from 20 yards across Arrizabalaga into the far corner.
Hazard was through after 58 minutes, but his shot rebounded off Alisson's right post in front of the way fans. Hazard had another shot saved. He now had Higuain in the front line.
Seven minutes from the end, Robertson slipped Gerrard-style in the middle, but Chelsea were unable to take advantage.
Liverpool regained top place, and all their fans will be rooting for Spurs in next Saturday's league meeting with Manchester City. This result meant that Spurs will stay in third place for another week.
Monday 15th April, 2019
Watford v Arsenal
The home crowd was understandably in buoyant mood having seen their team reach the FA Cup Final following a marvellous comeback against Wolves. That mood was soon to be deflated by two incidents.
Firstly Ben Foster gifted Arsenal what turned out to be the only goal of the match when he was slow to deal with Janmaat's back pass, firing his clearance into Aubameyang's leg for one of the easiest goals the striker will ever score. Within a minute, Watford skipper Troy Deeney - a hero at Wembley - was shown a straight red card by Craig Pawson for a side-swiping elbow into the face of the diminutive Torreira. Only 11 minutes of the game had passed.
The ten men of Watford put Arsenal under considerable pressure, urged on by their embittered fans. Foster saved from Iwobi and at the other end Leno saved Capoue's free kick in front of the Rookery Stand.
In the second half Aubameyang's touch upon an Iwobi cross was too faint, and Foster made another good save, this one at close range from Mkhitaryan. Masina hit the corner of the upright for Watford with a powerful shot from distance.
The win lifted Arsenal back into the top four, and only three points separate the four teams battling for third and fourth place.
Tuesday 16th April, 2019
Brighton 0 Cardiff 2
Brighton face a very nervous end to the season after they lost their fifth successive game (including an FA Cup semi-final) in which they failed to score any goals. Their remaining games are at Wolves, Tottenham and Arsenal, and at home to Newcastle and Manchester City.
Cardiff drew to within two points of Brighton with this win. They have just four games remaining - at home to Liverpool and Crystal Palace, and away to Fulham and Manchester United.
One of these two teams will surely be returning to the Championship.
Solly March hit the side netting early on for the home side, and Cardiff keeper Etheridge came out of his area to clear from the feet of Glenn Murray. Cardiff survived a penalty shout which would probably have aggrieved their manager Neil Warnock had it occurred at the other end. Then, in the 22nd minute, Mendez-Laing hit a glorious right footed shot past Ryan, inside the keeper's left post. Mendez-Laing, making only his second start in the last 11 games had brought the ball out of his own half, before exchanging passes with Hoilett.
Brighton fans started off booing their team off at the half-time whistle but then realised they actually needed to roar their support for the battle to come. That battle became harder still when Morrison added a second goal after 50 minutes. The goal was a header from a free kick floated in by Camarasa.
Cardiff had dominated possession but failed to hit the target enough, or to truly test goalkeeper Etheridge. The closest they came to scoring was when a late Murray header hit the post. A lot of the home fans had already left.
Leicester 0-1 Newcastle
Spurs 4-0 Hds'field
Brighton 0-5 B'mouth
Burnley 2-0 Cardiff
Fulham 2-0 Everton
S'hampton 3-1 Wolves
Man Utd 2-1 West Ham
C. Palace 1-3 Man City
Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea
Watford 0-1 Arsenal
Brighton 0-2 Cardiff
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Liverpool 34 26 7 1 77-20 57 85
2. Man City 33 27 2 4 86-22 64 83
3. Spurs 33 22 1 10 64-34 30 67
4. Arsenal 33 20 6 7 66-40 26 66
5. Chelsea 34 20 6 8 57-36 21 66
6. Man Utd 33 19 7 7 63-43 20 64
7. Leicester 34 14 5 15 46-45 1 47
8. Wolves 33 13 8 12 41-42 -1 47
9. Everton 34 13 7 14 46-44 2 46
10. Watford 33 13 7 13 47-48 -1 46
11. West Ham 34 12 6 16 42-52 -10 42
12. B'mouth 34 12 5 17 49-61 -12 41
13. C. Palace 34 11 6 17 40-46 -6 39
14. Burnley 34 11 6 17 42-60 -18 39
15. Newcastle 34 10 8 16 32-43 -11 38
16. S'hampton 33 9 9 15 39-53 -14 36
17. Brighton 33 9 6 18 32-53 -21 33
18. Cardiff 34 9 4 21 30-63 -33 31
19. Fulham 34 5 5 24 32-76 -44 20 R
20. H'dsfield 34 3 5 26 19-67 -48 14 R